Nome società N. 75 - March 2015
Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation
A Publication of the Missions Sector for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Missions
Dear friends, Last month I visited our Salesian mission in Lithuania: Cold feet, warm heart! Salesians and Salesian sisters are generously committed to bring the Gospel of Joy to young people in Lithuania. We are right in the midst of Project Europe, in one of its suburbs. Six Salesians: two Lithuanians, two Italians, two Vietnamese. Beautiful prophecy of fraternity! in our parish of St. John Bosco in Vilnius, the Church building is focused on an impressive and attractive Crucified Christ with a very original detail: Don Bosco himself presents the Cross to us. A beautiful Salesian and missionary message for Lent.
This Don Bosco showing the cross reminds us the similar gesture he had with Mamma Margaret at Valdocco, when she wanted to go back to the Becchi.
This Don Bosco showing the Cross, is a living memory of all the Salesian missionaries who once were sent and received a Cross at Valdocco or elsewhere.
Finally, this Don Bosco showing
the cross reminds us of the mandate to every Salesian missionary of
all times: to bring young people to
the Cross of Jesus, the Tree of Life!
Happy Lenten and missionary
Fr. Basañes Guillermo, SDB
Councillor for the Missions Not only for 2015 but for all the six year period, we want real help to be given in certain mission areas where there is a degree of special difficulty at this time, for example among others:
♦ Missionary work in Amazonia, especially in Manaus, Campo Grande, and Venezuela …;
♦ Missionary work in the Chaco Paraguayo;
♦ Missionary work in some regions of the Pampas and of Argentine Patagonia;
♦ A missionary presence among the immigrant communities in the United States;
♦ A missionary presence in the Middle East, in addition to being tremendously afflicted by a variety of armed conflicts with which we are familiar ;
♦ A missionary presence among the Muslims of North Africa, the countries of the Arabian Gulf and Pakistan …;
♦ A new missionary presence required by the Project Europe which is concerned in large measure with the emarginated as a result of the various migrations;
♦ Strengthening of the new missionary presences for first Evangelisation in Asia and Oceania: Mongolia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Laos … Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, SDB (from AGC 419)
Example of application to be a missionary March 25, 2015
Dearest Fr. Ángel, ... After a careful discernment and in dialogue with my spiritual director, I, N. of the Province of ... present to you my desire to be a Salesian missionary ad exteros, ad gentes and ad vitam ....
... As a sign of my total availability to the Lord I am willing to go to any part of the Congregation where you want to send me. However knowing well my limitations, I would prefer to be sent in a ...N ...context.
I present this application with full freedom and without any coercion.
I promise to give all my strength to those to whom I will be sent ...
... Thank you for your attention and I assure you also of my prayers ...
New missionaries sought New missionaries sought New missionaries sought
Salesian Missionary Intention Salesian Missionary Intention Salesian Missionary Intention Salesian Missionary Intention That Salesians of the East Asia-Oceania Region invest more time and energy in a systematic way in the formation of our lay mission partners both in educating to the faith and in the Preventive System of education of Don Bosco.
In the 16 countries of East Asia-Oceania 1300 confreres work in nine Salesian Provinces and five Delegations, mostly in the situation of first evangelisation. The Salesian mission involves some 18,500 lay collaborators, the majority of whom are followers of other religions. Hence, the formation of our ‘laity mission partners’ is of paramount importance.
My missionary vocation is a gift of Mary
For the formation of lay people in East Asia
Witness of Salesian Missionary Sanctity In one of his reflections in 1906, the Servant of God Bp. Octavio Ortiz Arrieta (1878-1958), the first Salesian Peruvian bishop of Chachapoyas in Peru, writes: “The book that we must always read and that will allow us to suffer with patience is the Crucified One. Jesus is patient and I enjoy life? Jesus humiliated and I am proud? Jesus suffering hunger and I am greedy? Jesus tired and I am lazy?” .
D uring my aspirantate very often we used to have visits from many Salesian missionaries who narrated to us their missionary experiences. Many of them were from Africa and I can say that my desire for Africa precisely began there. Most of them insisted on praying to Our Blessed Mother for the missionary vocation so I also began to pray to Our Lady to make me a missionary.
Surely India still has need for many missionaries, but there are still so many countries and regions where Salesians are not present yet. But we also cannot undermine the fact that India is the region in which the Salesian presence has grown in a substantial fashion in recent years. In less than 110 years, we have grown to be one of the largest Salesian presences in the world, with more than 2,500 Salesians in over 12 Provinces. Don Bosco’s charism was planted and nurtured on the Indian soil by the courageous and self-sacrificing efforts of the missionaries. I believe firmly that now India has now a historic responsibility to give back to the wider Salesian Society what it has received from others in the past.
My prayers were finally heard in 2006 when I became part of the Missionary Expedition to commemorate the centenary of the Salesian presence in India. I strongly believe that my missionary vocation is a special gift from our Blessed Mother. I came to Ethiopia in 2006 as a practical trainee and I had spent time to learn Amharic, the local language. I did my practical training in one of the remotest missions of Ethiopia - in the Apostolic Prefecture of Gambella, which is entrusted to the Salesians. But after a year I was sent to Rome for my theological studies and specialisation.
On my return to Ethiopia as a priest I struggled to relearn Amharic. I was hoping to go back to the Gambella and be involved in direct evangelisation but I was sent to teach Philosophy in the Post-Novitiate. Here I am busy with classes, exams and all other activities of a typical formation house. Even though I may not have many adventurous experiences to my credit as a missionary, becoming a missionary in Africa was a long cherished dream and the realization of that dream brings me a great sense of joy and satisfaction. Being part of the formation of the future Salesians of Ethiopia is also a great joy.
Here in Ethiopia, the priests are addressed as “Abba”, the Amharic word for ‘Father’. Each time someone greets me as “Abba Lijo”, it brings x an incomparable joy to my heart because it reminds me of my missionary vocation, a gift of Mary to me and to the youth of Ethiopia ! Fr. Lijo Vadakkan Indian, missionary in Ethiopia